A group of researchers from the University of California has published the results of a new treatment for patients suffering from a severe form of depression.
In fact, in specific cases the conventional treatments, based on drugs and therapies of various kinds, do not find an effective response in the treatment of this disorder. The study therefore focused on identifying areas of the patients’ brains related to the symptoms of the disease. The treatment methodology is based on the use of deep brain stimulation (DBS), but unlike previous iterations, it was applied to specific areas of the brain. In this regard, the researchers discovered a neural biomarker in the form of specific patterns of brain activity that indicate the onset of symptoms of depression, with the consequent optimization of the DBS device to focus on areas of interest.
This “personalized” approach was able to alleviate the symptoms of depression in patients undergoing treatment almost immediately. However, the new brain stimulation device designed by the research team involves ainvasive application for the patient, using electrodes implanted directly into the brain. Specifically, one of these leads constantly monitors the brain region responsible for the patient’s depression, while another delivers a 1 milliampere discharge of electricity for six seconds, modifying neural activity. However, it should be noted that the researchers are still in the early stages of experimentation. Regarding the disorders caused by depression we can include the alteration of visual perception and the consequent different vision of the world in people affected by this pathology.